This month the count is lower than that of January 2009.
With a new year comes a new start and new hope. While even one senseless death is one too many, this month’s count of six is lower than the seven this time last year. This is a step in the right direction. Now we, as a community, need to come together and continue this step. Hopefully, this will prove to be a record year for the least deaths by homicide.
As part of an ongoing effort to heighten awareness about the effect of murder in the Black community, the New Pittsburgh Courier will compile a list of homicides in the county each month. It is our hope that as the list of victims grows, so will a true understanding of how these lost lives affect the mental health, economic well-being and self-image of the region’s Black neighborhoods.
Out of the six murders in 2010—four were Black and three were Black men.
JANUARY HOMICIDES (6)
JAN. 1—Lillainya Rachko, a 29-year-old White female from Beechview, was found beaten to death with an aluminum bat in the basement of an Orangewood Street home in Beechview. She allegedly was beaten by her boyfriend, William Murray, who later committed suicide.
JAN. 6—Uniquea Hines, a 23-year-old Black female from Clairton, was stabbed to death in the neck in her Clairton home on Baatan Drive in the Century Town Homes. Police arrested and charged Herbert Benson, the father of her two children. He allegedly entered her home, went to her room and assaulted her and another male. He left the room and returned with a knife and then stabbed her. Her children were home and saw the incident. She ran to a neighbor’s home, where she collapsed and died. Benson has been charged with homicide, burglary, assault, child endangerment and resisting arrest.
JAN. 15—Marcel King, a 40-year-old Black male from Pittsburgh, was found stabbed in the chest and laying face down in the courtyard of the 2100 block of Elmore Square in the Hill District. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Tyrone Taylor has been charged with criminal homicide. He and King allegedly had an argument.
JAN. 20—Adelani Bajomo, a 50-year-old Black male from Stowe Township, was found dead with a gunshot to the chest on Belleau Street on the North Side. He was allegedly killed while driving a passenger in his jitney. He died at the scene.
JAN. 24—Arnaldo Scalfari, a 65-year-old White male from McKeesport, was found shot to death in his corner store, Aldo’s, at Jenny Lind and Packer streets in McKeesport. It appears to have been a robbery. No one has been charged with the homicide, the investigation is still ongoing.
JAN. 31—Omar Battle, a 27-year-old Black male of Pittsburgh, was fatally shot in the back outside of AutoZone in the 200 block of Penn Avenue in Wilkinsburg on Jan. 29. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died two days later. No one has been charged with the homicide, the investigation is still ongoing.